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Saturday, July 9, 2016

Lady in the Van (2015)

Maggie Smith is a homeless woman who single handedly brings down property values wherever she goes.  She believes that she killed a man on the road years before and she has been trying to escape both the guilt and her life in general since then.  She has taken up residence in her van, which is without proper toilet facilities, and she has literally been living on the street in her car.  The largely liberal residents of Camden are both appalled by her and moved to charity, in a small sense, and so she survives, ending up in the driveway of an author for upwards of 15 years prior to her death.  Maggie Smith pulls this role off well, with the imperiousness that the British are so well known for in the face of adversity. It is clear that she should have social services involved, but she has no intention of letting that happen, and so it does not.  The film does not gloss over the grittier aspects of homelessness, and while the content sounds grim, the movie is really a very dark comedy that is well done.

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